Zoe N. | March 14, 2017 | Review



by S. Jae-Jones

Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: February 7th 2017
by Macmillan




All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.


Beware the goblin men, and the wares they sell.

Wintersong is a beautifully written fantasy with an imaginative and captivating world, but it lacks the substance and depth it truly needs to be memorable.

When 19-year-old Liesl’s sister Käthe is kidnapped by goblins, Liesel is forced to make a treacherous journey into the goblins’ underground realm to rescue her. But the Goblin King isn’t willing to let Käthe go without a price: Lisel’s hand in marriage as the Goblin Queen.

Liesel is a decent character who many readers will find themselves rooting for and sympathizing with. She isn’t anyone special – she doesn’t have her sister’s beauty or her brother’s aptitude for music – but she is selfless and determined. However, there were moments where she felt a bit too wallowed in self-pity for my taste – almost to the point where she felt like a Mary Sue at times.

Furthermore, the romance felt a bit lacking. The Goblin King as a love interest was intriguing, but there was just something missing in terms of the chemistry and dynamics between him. (Their relationship reminds me a lot of the romance between Tamlin and Feyre in A Court of Thorns and Roses).

The story’s primary flaw is the lack of plot and action. Significant events only occur within the first 75 pages and the last 75 pages of the book. Everything inbetween is simply beautiful prose that, while extremely eloquent, serves no point. A more complex plot would have definitely helped make the story more engaging.

All in all, while this isn’t a bad book, it lacked the emotional connection I needed to truly enjoy it. I’d recommend reading Stolen Songbird instead if you’re looking for something similar.

This was the immortality humans were meant to have: to be remembered by those who loved us long after our bodies had crumbled into dust.



  1. I love lyrical prose so I was so looking forward to this one Zoe, you don’t see many, if any, goblin characters in YA. Definitely not as a love interest. I loathe that lull in the middle of books, fill it up with monkey’s dancing for god’s sake. Wonderful review Zoe and I’m glad you were able to enjoy it despite those few nagging issues <3

  2. I guess I had pretty much the same feelings as you, so much so, that after 175 pages, I gave up. Interesting premise, but I guess I couldn’t get past the lack of action…

  3. I’m really glad you enjoyed this, because it’s been on my TBR for a while now. Shame that the romance fell flat for you (though I admit, I really loved Tamlin and Feyre’s relationship in the first book, haha). Goblins in YA are just so rare and hard to come by that this one sounds interesting. Great review. 🙂

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more, Zoe! This was a beautifully written book but I also found the plot to lag at some parts. And it’s funny you mentioned ACoTaR, I thought the same thing. (Though I picked up ACoTar after this one.) Great review! 🙂


  5. I really enjoyed this one- I agree with you that the writing was incredible. The plot did lag in a few spots which is why I didn’t give it a full five stars, but still, very good for me. But now you definitely made me NEED to read Stolen Songbird! Which I didn’t want to at first because… bird people. 😉 Great review!

  6. Eeep, I just won this SO I’M REALLY HAPPY YOU’VE GIVEN IT 4!! Huge chance I’ll love it now. Although I confess I’m a little worried with the Tamlin/Feyre comparison because I thought they were horrible for each other hahhaha. BUT ANYWAY. I shall try it soon!! I’m glad you loved it!

  7. Glad to see it was enjoyable even if all the action (or really any action) appears to happen at the very beginning and very end of the book. I don’t mind a book with a slower pace if the writing is good, though, so I will definitely be reading. I figure that’s just how some books are, slower and interesting. I do have Stolen SOngbird on my shelf, though, so if this doesn’t satisfy I can always read that instead.

  8. I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, but sounds like it’s just a so-so read. I’m just not a fan of Goblins…can’t over the fact that they’re a goblin so I might be a bit too biased for this type of story. Eek!

  9. Ooh, I’ve heard of this book! It wasn’t on my TBR and probably won’t be (I’m not a fan of fantasy creatures, as much as I love fantasy) but thanks for sharing your thoughts! 😀

  10. I’m really curious to read this one – but might check out the stolen songbird first. I like to see real connection in the romance and if its not there, I feel the story can turn a little stale. Great, honest review!

  11. I’ve seen this book everywhere around the blogosphere! I’m sure it’s so beautifully written, but I think it might bore me for a bit. I have a love-hate with fantasy novels! I think I’ll keep it on the back burner for a bit. Great review, Zoe!

  12. I started this one last week, and though I haven’t gotten really sucked into the story yet, I still have some high hopes. I’m sorry you didn’t feel the emotional connection! Hopefully I’ll have better luck, but we’ll see 🙂 Great review!

  13. I’m not really a fan of purple prose and no action, so I might give this book a miss. I’ll have a look at Stolen Songbird instead. 😀 Thanks for the great review, Zoe!

  14. Awh, no! It’s sad that you didn’t end up loving this book, Zoe. I haven’t heart MUCH about it, but when I found out that it was a retelling of Labyrinth I pre-ordered it immediately, haha.

    I don’t actually mind too much if there’s not a lot of plot or action, so that aspect won’t bother me too much. I will keep in mind what you said about the romance, though. Even though I liked ACOTAR when I read it, upon reflection my thoughts have changed.

    Thanks for the review, lovely!

  15. Ahh, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did but I can’t really disagree with anything in your review! The prose WAS beautiful and the plot could have definitely been tighter… But I still liked it a lot! That’s just how books are, right? 🙂

    Great review.

  16. SO YES I AM A BOOKSELLER I WORK AT BARNES AND NOBLE and omg everyone has been buying this recently! I have to say that I just LOVE that cover, but I totally felt like the romance between Tamlin and Feyre was kind of weird and unnatural?? BUT I have not read ACOMAF yet so… But the hype is intriguing me!

  17. I’ve been hesitant to start this one because for some reason, I felt like it would disappoint me. I guess the similar premise to a few other stories I loved turned me away from it, but I think I’ll try it now! It seems like a pretty solid novel, even with some flaws in the plot

  18. Hi Zoe!
    Aw, I’m sad to hear that this book didn’t measure up. I’ve heard mixed things about this book – beautiful writing but lacking in action. I’m still super curious to read it though, since I really like the ideas put forth in this book.
    Thank you for writing this review and sharing with us your thoughts!! 😀

  19. Oh that’s a shame… But you’ve addressed the same issues I’ve heard from other bloggers, which makes me think I’ll probably have a similar opinion about this book. I’ll try Stolen Songbird first 😉
    Great review, Zoe!

  20. This story sounded really intriguing when I first read the synopsis! But it did sound a lot like stolen Songbird, and I just couldn’t really get into that series. I read the first book of Stolen songbird and kind of liked it, I pushed through to the second book and I could barely finish it. I only skimmed the the end of the book because I was so bored. So its’ a shame this isn’t any better than that series! I feel like the premise has real potential!

  21. Lovely review, Zoe! After you left a comment on my review of Wintersong I was curious to see your thoughts as well. Seems we felt very similarly about this one. I imagine I’ll still pick up the second book when it comes out, just to see what happens, but I really wanted more from this one.

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